Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Porcupine Hand Incident

So you know those times when you can hear a kid screaming bloody murder, I mean really giving it all they've got and it sounds awful and torturous? Like they're slowly being murdered, and the hair on your neck stands up and you seriously wonder if you should call the cops?

To all my neighbors who heard my kid screaming like that at approximately 3:25 Wednesday afternoon, thank you for not calling the cops.

It started when we picked up Ethan from school. Walking back to the car, Brandon didn't want me to hold his right hand, only his left. I thought it was weird but kids are weird so I went with it. We got home, I gave him a snack before his nap, and went to wash his hands.

He flipped out. He didn't want me to wash his right hand. I mean, really really really really did not want me to wash it. 

Again, this was weird, but he's been flipping out about pretty much everything lately (he's three) so I thought it was yet another Really Stupid Thing he was having a cow about.

As we fought at the sink, with him trying to pull his right hand away from the water and me trying to force it back under the water (like the U.S. Government, I don't negotiate with terrorists), I saw it.

I vice-gripped his hand to get a better look, and he started shrieking. Zeroing in on exactly what the problem was, it took all I had not to start shrieking myself.

He had touched something that sent a rash of hundreds of tiny hairlike slivers into a section of his palm and finger.

Not the best shot, but considering the circumstances, I'm amazed it's even this good.

I nearly shit myself. It was that bad. What the fuck am I supposed to do with this? I hate removing slivers, and here I was being faced with hundreds of them, and stuck in a kid who was making a person in the throes of demon possession look like they were having a relaxing picnic in the park.

I've never heard screams come from him like that before. To top it off, he was finishing up the last bites of a fruit roll-up, so he was drooling (foaming) a bluish-blackish-redish fluid out of his blue- and red-tinted mouth.

He looked INSANE.

It was A MESS. I was trying not to panic. Nate was at work, so not able to help.  I had no idea how I was going to get that many slivers out of this thrashing kid by myself. 

You know how when someone is drowning and the person trying to save them has to punch the drowner in the face to get them to either stop panicking or knock them out so they can actually save them?

I seriously wondered if I needed to do that (<----things I shouldn't admit publicly). He was hurting, and I was that scared of what was stuck in his hand and I wanted, needed, to get them out and now. I could see blood under some of the slivers, also I was terrified that they had come from some poisonous plant and he was being injected with deadly toxins.

I realized that I couldn't actually slug my kid in the face, contemplated a sleeper hold, nope, can't bring myself to do that, either, then my mind shuffled over to medication options. Can I drug him? Well, I didn't have any roofies on me so what the hell was I supposed to drug him with? Melatonin? That would take too long.

My near-panicky mind was shuffling through other options while also registering that the neighbors have to be freaking out by now. "What the hell is that kid screaming like that for? That house is always loud but this is OVER the TOP. Honey, call the COPS."

I realized that I was just going to have to pin him down somehow, force his hand open, and one-by-one pull out the slivers. Except, a panicked three-year-old is freakishly, freakishly, strong, and I needed more hands. I thought about running to a neighbor's house and asking her if she could help pin him so I could perform surgery, then realized that 1. I didn't want to take him outside to delight our neighbors with more of his screaming, and 2. I didn't think that having basically a stranger (we're new to the 'hood) pinning him down would be really good for him and actually help matters.

I thought hard. I needed to distract him... Angry Birds Toons! HE LOVES THOSE BITCHES. I asked him if he wanted to watch Angry Birds on my phone so I could take out his slivers. Somehow, he heard me over his own death screams and, blackish-blue drool still pouring from his mouth, said yes.

I hurriedly got some Toons going for him, put the phone in his good hand, and went to work. But, the Toons barely distracted him; every time I even looked at his hand, his screams intensified. Even when I didn't think it was possible, they got worse.

I tried to soothe him with a calming voice, tucked his arm under mine and pinned it to my side with all my strength, then vice-gripped his hand with one of mine, but I also had to use my same hand to pry his fingers open- while he was wiggling and trying to fight it. This created a situation where I was pretty sure I was going to end up accidentally breaking one of his fingers (<----another thing I shouldn't admit publicly) in the struggle, but was completely at a loss as to what else I could do. 

With tweezers, I pulled out a section of slivers, then another, then another. Progress was being made! My right ear was losing about 12% of its hearing, but progress was being made. Finally, they were all out, and no fingers had been broken in the process. I told Brandon that we were all done, the slivers were all gone, so he could calm down now. 

I put some Neosporin on a Band-Aid, thereby giving him "a sticker." I scooped him off the counter and carried him to his bed and held him for a minute before laying him down for his nap.

Jesus. People who can parent without drinking your faces off, I don't know how you do it.

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